This Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is easy to prepare and can be served as a vegan, gluten free side or entree on your holiday table or as a weeknight dinner. The acorn squash is stuffed with mushrooms, apples, cranberries pecans and chickpea pasta. The chickpea pasta adds plant based protein, making it a balanced dish.
Acorn squash vs butternut squash:
Both a equally delicious and very popular this time of year. They are, however, slightly different:
- While they’re similar in flavor, acorn squash is better for roasting, and doesn’t work as well in soups, since it is a little more watery. It’s also a bit more fibrous and can sometimes be stringy, which is why butternut squash is usually used in soups
- Butternut squash has a smoother, sweeter, almost nutty flavor. It can be used in place of pumpkin in some recipes.
- The seeds of the acorn squash are edible. You can scoop them out, rinse and dry them, and roast them with some olive oil and salt at 275F for 10-15 minutes. The skin is edible too, unlike the butternut squash skin
- Calorie wise, they’re pretty close: 53 for acorn vs 63 for butternut, per cup.
- As far as nutrients and vitamins go, they’re about the same. They both have high levels of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and fiber.
For this recipe, we roasted and stuffed acorn squash halves with a combination of Explore Cuisine chickpea pasta, apples, mushrooms, dried cranberries and pecans, with a touch of maple syrup to enhance the sweetness of the squash. Bean and pulse pastas have become one of our favorite go-to source of plant based protein. They’re filling, satisfying and high in protein, fiber and other nutrients.
The acorn squash can be baked 2-3 days ahead and reheated before serving. If you prefer to use less salt, season the acorn squash with your favorite salt free seasoning or add some additional maple syrup before stuffing them
The apple, mushroom mixture can also be made 2-3 days ahead, but we recommends that you cook the pasta the day you are planning on serving this dish.
This stuffed acorn squash is an elegant, pretty looking dish that is ideal to serve during the holidays, but also easy enough for a weekday dinner.
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This Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is easy to make and can be served as a vegan side or entree on your holiday table or as a weeknight dinner. The chickpea pasta adds plant based protein, making it a balanced dish.
3 acorn squash
4 oz (1/2 pack) Explore Cuisine Organic Chickpea Fusilli
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, diced
1 medium apple, diced (you can use your favorite kind)
1 shallot, diced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 tbsp maple syrup
More salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley to garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- Cut the acorn squash in half length wise. Remove the seeds with the help of spoon and place each half cut side down on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until the squash is tender
- In the meantime, cook chickpea fusilli following package instructions (make sure to drain and rinse the pasta, so it doesn’t stick together). Set aside
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms, apple, shallot, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the apples are tender, but still have a little bit of a bite
- Add the cooked pasta, cranberries, pecans and maple syrup. Toss well and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is warm
- Remove the acorn squash from the oven and season with salt and pepper to taste (see note)
- Stuff each acorn half with the pasta mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve warm
- Serving Size: 1/2 squash
- Calories: 260
- Sugar: 11
- Sodium: 116.6
- Fat: 7
- Saturated Fat: 0.7
- Unsaturated Fat: 5
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 48.2
- Fiber: 7
- Protein: 7
- Cholesterol: 0